Review: The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker | Burn It Down

OuttaSight (2009)
By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  September 9, 2009
3.5 3.5 Stars

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These Nashville-based high ministers of retro-groove — known for their muscular live sermons — broaden their gospel on CD #2, throwing horny Memphis soul arrangements like the funky done-broke-up Curtis Mayfield ballad "If I Had Known" and the slinky "I Got Love (For You)" into their bad-ass percolating mix. Shouter Walker croons high 'n' sweet in the latter, eschewing the gravel-coated bark that's otherwise perfect for the nonet's main mission: reinvigorating the powerhouse sound of James Brown's '50s and '60s ensembles.

The band stretch out on the instrumental "Threadneck," propelled by leader/guitarist Bill Elder's chiseled post–Jimmy Nolen riffing and the three-piece horn section's harmonized honks and swirls. But the final surprises are "The Third Degree" and "The Real Deal," which blend Studio One, Motown, and Stax as if the geographical and stylistic boundaries separating those legendary labels had never existed.

THE DYNAMITES FEATURING CHARLES WALKER | Middle East upstairs, 472 Mass Ave, Cambridge | September 17 | 9 pm | $10 | www.mideastclub.com

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